This next-generation wearable could have a major impact on VR & AR technology.
As the metaverse continues to grow at a rapid pace, having access to a reliable 5G connection is going to become more important to the average user. To help keep people connected, Motorola and Lenovo have partnered to develop the 5G Neckband, a worn around your neck capable of delivering Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband network to any AR device, including Lenovo’s ThinkReality A3 smart glasses and standalone VR headsets, such as the Meta Quest 2.
At first glance, the 5G Neckband looks like a beefy lanyard. Under the hood, however, the wearable device is packed with some impressive tech such as a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor, a touchpad, antenna, SIM card slot, stereo speakers, a gyroscope, accelerometer, barometer, GPS, and a 5,000mAh battery.
The device is fairly lightweight at just 2.6 ounces. Motorola promises a comfortable experience even after hours of extended use. You could also throw it in your pocket or backpack if you prefer. Is it weird-looking? Sure, a little bit. But no weirder than wearing an AR or VR headset in public, which is slowly becoming the norm.
In a recent post on Motorola’s Official Global Blog page, Brain Mecum, Vice President of Device Technology at Verizon said, “Motorola’s wearable neckband and ultra-lightweight AR smart glasses leverage Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband network and mobile edge compute platform, enabling us to deliver immersive technology in many fields, such as sports training and fan experiences, as well as making VR theaters scalable.”
According to Mecum, the technology needs to work “out of the box” and feature a minimal learning curve. The team also hopes that the 5G Neckband will have an impact in other ways outside of sports and VR theaters.
“Motorola 312 Labs is focused on exploring new and developing opportunities in mobile technology, including innovative wearables and form factors,” said Jeff Snow, Product General Manager at Motorola. “With this collaboration, we’re further strengthening our partnership with Verizon to solve new challenges in the industry and advance consumer and enterprise AR use cases.”
Wearables are becoming a big part of how we access and consume information. First with mobile devices and smartwatches, and now through the metaverse using AR, VR, and XR technology. The 5G Neckband could be a game-changer for immersive wearable tech, such as standalone VR headsets and AR glasses. However, the technology is still a work in progress, and according to Motorola we should “stay tuned for more information”.
At the moment there’s no information on cost or if they’ll ever make the device available to consumers or enterprise users. But Mecum did tell Engadget that they were already in conversation with potential partners in the retail space, sports leagues, and education.
Image Credit: Motorola